Commander Willie Goodman of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 10643, announced the kick-off of the VFW’s annual Patriot’s Pen youth essay competition. Middle school students in grades 6 to 8 in this area have the opportunity to compete and win thousands of dollars in national awards.
The VFW enacted the Patriot’s Pen competition in 1995 to encourage young minds to examine America’s history, along with their own experiences in modern American society by composing a 300 to 400 words patriotic-themed essay. The theme for this year’s competition is “The America I Believe In”.
Students begin by competing at the local post level. Post winners advance to district competition with district winners advancing to the state competition. State first place winners compete for their share of thousands of dollars in awards, and the national first place winner is awarded $5,000 and an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C.
In the Voice of Democracy Scholarship competition, local high school students must write and record a three to five minute essay on the selected theme using an audio CD or flash drive and presenting their recording, typed essay and completed entry form to their local VFW Post by November 1. The theme this year is “My Responsibility to America”.
The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) started the Voice of Democracy Scholarship program in 1947. The VFW became a national sponsor in the late 1950s and assumed sole responsibility for the program in 1961. The competition was created to provide students grades 9 to 12 the opportunity to express themselves in regard to democratic ideas and principals. Around 40,000 students participate in the competition each year and VFW awards more than $2 million in scholarships every year.
Each year more than 125,000 students participate nationwide. Deadline for student entries is November 1, and interested students and teachers should contact their local VFW post 10643 at 207-228-4329 or email WGoodman@aol.com for more information.